The Green Bay Packers were forced to finish out their 17-0 win over the Seattle Seahawks without their sacks leader, Rashan Gary, in the lineup, but the young pass rusher doesn’t seem interested in letting his new injury slow him down.
Gary was forced out of Week 10’s win in the fourth quarter when a Seahawks defender landed on his right arm and bent his elbow in the wrong direction at the end of a play, leaving him down on the field in visible pain until the Packers’ trainers attended to him. While Packers safety Adrian Amos picked off Russell Wilson on the next play, Gary did not return to the field for the Seahawks’ final drive.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the diagnosis on Gary is a hyperextended elbow with an MRI scheduled for Tuesday, November 16, to further determine the severity of his injury, but Schefter also added there is hope the 2019 first-round pick will not have to miss any time and that Gary is currently planning to brace his elbow and “try to play” in Week 11’s road matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.
Gary later reinforced the possibility of him playing next Sunday against the Vikings with a hype-filled message to fans from his Twitter account.
“So I am confirming the #DTrain is full steam ahead,” Gary tweeted in reference to the Packers’ defense, “and if it’s in my power, #BANEGary is on board.”
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Gary’s Injury Comes Amid Breakout Campaign
Gary has taken his game to the next level in his third season with the Packers, going from a disruptive rotational piece in 2020 to an every-game starter on the edge in 2021 with All-Pro Za’Darius Smith on the mend with a back injury. Through 10 games, he has already produced some of the best pass-rushing numbers of his career with a team-high 5.5 sacks, 11 quarterback hits and 46 total pressures on his ledger, and it seems likely to continue if he is able to bounce back from his injury.
Unfortunately, any situation where Gary is forced to miss time could prove problematic for the Packers at outside linebacker.
As of now, the Packers have three of their top four pass rushers sidelined with injuries, including Gary and Smith along with former Houston Texans veteran Whitney Mercilus. Mercilus was also injured during the team’s win over Seattle on Sunday, exiting in the third quarter with a bicep injury and quickly getting ruled out for the rest of the game. There have been no updates on his status yet, but if his bicep muscle is torn, it could prove to be a season-ending injury for the 31-year-old outside linebacker.
The Packers would be limited to Preston Smith and Jonathan Garvin, a 2020 seventh-round pick, as their top outside linebackers without Gary or Mercilus in the fold. They also have Tipa Galeai to consider elevating from the practice squad after protecting him from outside signings in each of the past two weeks, but even another second-year guy in the rotation cannot replace the impact of the missing three.